Vidalia bench helps Lady Vikings advance

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 15, 2000

FERRIDAY, La. – Wendy Paul didn’t waste time in making her presence felt as the Vidalia Lady Vikings cruised to a 76-48 win over the Block Lady Bears Friday night in the Coca-Cola/Ferriday High School Invitational Basketball Tournament.

Paul had 11 of her team-high 16 points in the first half for the Lady Vikings (9-4). She also made 6-of-8 free throws, had three steals and hit two three-pointers.

Sharonda Anderson also had a big first half for Vidalia, scoring nine of her 11 points in the half.

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&uot;My bench came through for me tonight, and they held their own,&uot; said Lady Vikings head coach Lillian Johnson.

The Lady Vikings needed that kind of help as Brendy Ellis and Natalie McGraw – normally Vidalia’s go-to players – struggled to find their shooting touch in the first half.

Ellis was held to only eight points and McGraw, who scored five quick points to start the third quarter, finished with 11 points.

&uot;The size of the team was a difference,&uot; Johnson said. &uot;Our press forced a lot of turnovers.&uot;

Vidalia out-rebounded Block 44-30 and made 15-of-25 free throws in the game.

The Lady Vikings outscored the Lady Bears 41-28 in the second half to put the game out of reach.

Dani McMillian led Block (5-4) with 16 points, – including two three-pointers – and Shaterrica Savage had 14 points and eight rebounds.

Tamara Branch had a strong performance defensively for the Lady Bears with seven rebounds and five blocked shots.

Vidalia plays against Ferriday in the girls’ championship game at 6 p.m. Saturday.